Archive for April, 2008

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Trading Jarrod Washburn

April 24, 2008

As Matthew Carruth identified in his pre-season post (will add Link once Lookout Landing’s server recovers) on our pitchers, Jarrod Washburn is the biggest collapse candidate in the rotation.  To this point Jarrod has pitched fairly well, running a 4.35 xFIP which backs up his solid results.  Washburn may be pitching better than he ever has as a Mariner, but this is where the Mariners organization needs to think outside the “He’s performing well, we’ll use that performance for us!” box they always think in and instead think along the lines of “Hey, x team has an injured/underperforming member of their rotation, so offloading the overperforming Washburn to them will grant us some salary relief!”

The biggest problem here, however, is that if we as fans know that Washburn is overperforming then other MLB franchises will know as well.  Regardless, a player who is performing well will almost always net more in trade than a player performing poorly.  The Mariners need to change their ideology on when to trade players, and while they won’t, let’s pretend they have and look to indentify potential suitors for a Jarrod Washburn trade.

The Brewers seem like a good fit.  There are injury concerns for them with young stud Yovanni Gallardo, Chris Capuano, and Ben Sheets.  Also, aside from being an injury risk David Bush ran a tRA of 4.97 last season showing that even when healthy he is not an asset in the rotation.  A move to the NL should help Washburn and provide stability for an injury-prone staff like Milwaukee.  They could flip one of Guillermo Mota, David Riske, or Derrick Turnbow our way.  We don’t have to use them and they could become quick DFA candidates should they perform poorly.  Basically this gets us out from some of the money we owe Washburn and we only have to deal with one of the traded relievers for 2008 freeing up payroll space for next year.

Detroit is another interesting possibility.  With Kenny Rogers starting the year so terribly it’s not a reach to think the 43-year old may lose his roster spot soon.  Their current rotation of Verlander-Bonderman-Rogers-Robertson-Gallaraga could definitely use improvement, so flipping Washburn for someone like Bobby Seay could work.  With Detroit desperate to win now and their pitching holding them back it seems like it would be a good fit for them to add a mediocre back end starter to their rotation if nothing else but for stability.

Philadelphia would likely welcome Washburn with open arms as well.  I mean come on.  This rotation has Kyle Kendrick, Jamie Moyer, and Adam Eaton.  They need all the help they can get as they play in the same division as the Johan Santana led Mets.  Jarrod Washburn isn’t good but once again moving to the NL would be a plus, and the difference between Philly and New York is maybe two or three wins, so Washburn could close the gap/widen it a little (depending on who you think holds the advantage)  Plus with Gillick’s love of ex-Mariners, this seems like a no-brainer.  Make a Washburn for Ryan Madson swap or something similar and call it good.  Just as long as you get out of some or most of Washburn’s contract.

Ok, so assume Washburn’s been traded one of those places.  I think we can be just as competitive with Rowland-Smith, Cha Seung Baek, or R.A. Dickey making Washburn’s starts, plus we’d be saving a lot of money.  Getting out of Washburn’s contract is absolutely essential for the signing of premier talent in the 2008-2009 offseason–not to mention getting Washburn out of our rotation now may actually upgrade the current roster.

This team needs to make a bold move by trading one of it’s beloved veterans.  This team needs to trade Jarrod Washburn.

–Brett

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Players That I Would Like To See Wearing Mariner Blue Volume 1

April 24, 2008

It’s no secret that the Mariners need another power hitter.  With the obvious options next off-season being Ken Griffey Jr. and Mark Teixeira, I’d like to take this in a new direction.  (Not that we shouldn’t go after Teix and Griff–and let’s be honest it’s pretty much guaranteed that Jr. is wearing #24 in Seattle next year)  There’s one hitter on the market who doesn’t play well to this ballpark but would still inject this lineup with the power and patience it so desperately needs.

That hitter is Pat Burrell.

I’ve been kicking this idea in my head the last week or so and the more I think about it the more it makes sense.  Burrell ran a .256/.400/.502 line last year while being hated on by Phillies fans the whole way.  He took 114 BB’s which would’ve easily been the highest on the Mariners last year.  And also, he cranked 30 long balls, once again more than any Mariner hit in 2007.  He’s 31 this year so age is a concern but it appears Burrell’s just now hitting his best years…it’s not totally out of the question that a hitter who’s prime skills are patience and power may prosper in his early thirties.  I’d figure it would take 3/$40 or 4/$55 to get him wearing Mariner blue.  That’s about what we paid Sexson, but Burrell is the superior hitter by a fair margin.

Now I know he is a right-handed pull hitter which doesn’t suit Safeco too well but his home runs are generally towering shots.  They’re not cheap, despite the ballpark he plays in.  If Burrell signs with Seattle, I would expect no less than .250/.385/.475, which is a damn solid line and a true cleanup hitter considering he would play half his games in Safeco field.

You can also hide his defensive shortcomings in the smaller right field of Safeco, allowing Wladimir Balentien to take LF with his superior range so Ichiro can shade more towards RF to help Burrell.

Burrell is down on my list of priorities but he is a free-agent this offseason and would a punch to a lineup that could really use it.  Priority number one is signing Teixeira, two signing Griffey, three trading Washburn to free up some payroll, and four signing Burrell.  That’s not to downplay the importance of this move.  This team needs power.  This team needs patience.

This team needs Pat Burrell.

–Brett

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How To Win In Seven Easy Steps

April 1, 2008

DFA Richie.
DFA Vidro.
Promote Wlad.
Put Wlad in the OF.
Promote Clement.
Create an Ibanez/Johjima/Clement rotation at DH, C, and 1B.
DON’T THROW FIRST PITCH FASTBALLS TO JOSH FREAKING HAMILTON WHEN RAMON VAZQUEZ IS ON DECK.
Win.

-Eric